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Another Union Ouster: Los Angeles XPO Logistics Employees Free of Unwanted Teamsters Union

Workers were previously barred for one year from exercising right to vote out union

By Katy Grimes, October 25, 2021 12:09 pm

It’s Deja vu all over again, as the great Yogi Bera once famously said. In California, we have a near repeat of the ousted labor union case in Ventura that the Globe covered last month, where the employees submitted a valid petition for a decertification vote but the labor union made the decision to depart the facility ahead of the vote date, rather than face the damning vote by the employees.

Following up that case, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation reports that Ozvaldo Gutierrez and his coworkers at XPO Logistics’ Fashion District-area facility in Los Angeles have successfully forced Teamsters Local 63 union officials out of their workplace. Gutierrez submitted a petition bearing enough employee signatures to prompt the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to administer a vote to remove the union at the facility (also known as a “decertification vote”).

However, Teamsters officials backed down rather than face a vote of employees and disclaimed interest in continuing their control over the workers.

This is the third successful ouster of unwanted Teamsters union officials by Southern California employees, National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix reports. Juan Rivera and his coworkers at an XPO Logistics facility in Bakersfield and Angel Herrera and his colleagues at Airgas’ Ventura facility have also forced Teamsters officials out of their workplaces in the last few months.

As the Globe reported, in September, Ventura Airgas employees successfully broke free from the unwanted Teamsters labor union following a significant litigation process involving the National Labor Relations Board and the National Right to Work Foundation.

Also in September, Long Beach-area Savage Services employee Nelson Medina charged Teamsters Local 848 union bosses with threatening to have him fired for refusing to join the union, pay full dues, and pay other fees demanded by union officials. Savage Services in Wilmington, CA near Long Beach is a transportation company.

The Globe reported on Mr. Medina in July when he asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC to review an NLRB Regional Director’s decision to cast aside his objections to a mail-in ballot election at his workplace forced by Teamsters Local 848 union officials.

The latest union ouster shows a pattern of employees choosing to take charge of their rights and their own workplaces.

The Regional Director of NLRB Region 21 in Los Angeles issued a decision on October 6 ordering that Gutierrez’s requested vote go forward, declaring that “a reasonable period has elapsed and that the settlement does not bar the processing of the instant petition.” The vote was slated for October 21, but on October 18 Teamsters Local 63 officials tapped out and announced they were abandoning the facility. The NLRB revoked the union’s certification the next day.

“We are happy that Mr. Gutierrez and his coworkers are finally free from unwanted Teamsters ‘representation’ and that we were able to help him and his coworkers defend their rights,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “However, workers should not have to obtain legal aid and endure months or even years of litigation just to exercise their right to dispense with unpopular union bosses. The flurry of similar cases involving Teamsters officials around Southern California is a growing cause for concern.”

“Any employees in California or elsewhere seeking to oust unwanted Teamsters officials from their workplaces should not hesitate to contact the Foundation for free legal aid,” Mix added.

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